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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 22:30 GMT 23:30 UK
China acts on funeral strippers
Chinese village - library picture
Chinese villages are being told to end the practice
Five people have been detained in China for running striptease send-offs at funerals, state media say.

The once-common events are held to boost the number of mourners, as large crowds are seen as a mark of honour.

But the arrests, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, could signal the end of the rural tradition.

Local officials have since ordered a halt to "obscene performances" and say funeral plans have to be submitted in advance, Xinhua news agency said.

The arrests, in Donghai county, followed striptease acts at a farmer's funeral, the agency said.

Two hundred people were said to have attended the event, which was held on 16 August.

The Beijing News said the event was later revealed by a Chinese TV station. The leaders of five striptease troupes were held, it said, including two involved in the farmer's funeral.

"Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai's rural areas to allure viewers," Xinhua agency said.

"Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honoured."

As well as ordering an end to the practice, officials have also said residents can report "funeral misdeeds" on a hotline, earning a reward for information.


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